Re attitude towards working part time

(75 Posts)
shebird Tue 25-Feb-14 18:32:22

I am a bit just fed up with the attitude of some people when I say I work part time. I sometimes get sarcastic comments from clients or people at work saying 'oh I tried to call this morning but you I believe you don't start until 930' with a tone at implies I'm a complete slacker or comments like 'Oh that must be nice' or ' semi retired then' or ' half day again is it'. Arghhhhhh perhaps I'm being a bit sensitive but there is just no need for these comments.

Euphemia Tue 25-Feb-14 18:34:06

Perfect a smug "Yes, it's great, you should try it." smile

While thinking fuck you, you fucking jealous dick.

Tailtwister Tue 25-Feb-14 18:38:32

Just remind them you get paid part-time wages where they are paid full-time.

You always get arrogant idiots making comments like that. I'm afraid you have to learn to ignore them.

I work part-time, but often answer client emails (bloody Blackberry!) on my non-working days. I do it because I'm committed to my job and I like to be on top of things with no surprises when I come back, but I don't get paid for it.

Helpyourself Tue 25-Feb-14 18:41:25

I work part time in a mainly part time sector. I check my work emails and take calls on my days off, because I can but don't assume other people do.

Supercosy Tue 25-Feb-14 18:41:33

Exactly what I always say Tailtwister. Part time pay equals part time money.
Not that I work with irritating people like that, it's more just people in general. I work in a demanding job, I want to spend time with my dd I look after my MIL who has dementia....not that I need to justify myself, she says justifying herself!

JeanSeberg Tue 25-Feb-14 18:43:14

I can see it could be frustrating for clients though?

TicTicBOOM Tue 25-Feb-14 18:45:29

This really irritates me. It's as though they assume I am getting the same wage as them whilst doing half the work. One guy really likes to dig at me about leaving before his shift ends. I do more work in my 6 hours than he does in his 10, the little shit. I don't stop to take a break, I work my arse off angry

I'm tempted to fashion myself a sign for my desk saying "Part-time ≠ lazy"

EatDessertFirst Tue 25-Feb-14 18:45:53

YANBU I agree but in a different way. DP works full time, I work part time but gladly do majority of childcare and house-holdy stuff. We 'shift swap' to avoid incurring massive childcare costs and get one whole day off as a family once every two weeks. Shifts work well for our family and its the only way to make ends meet at the moment. The attitudes of our parents to this is mental sometimes! When we say 'no, sorry we aren't free on x-day and two days notice of a demand for our attendence just isn't enough quite frankly as one/both of us is/are working' we get looked at like we are aliens or something. The very idea that we don't have entire weekends off every week is unthinkable to them, especially DP's parents. DMIL probably thinks I shouldn't be working at all!

Ignore, ignore, ignore is my motto!!

beamme Tue 25-Feb-14 18:54:01

I get this ALL the time. I work 5 hours a day, most work 7 and a half. It's what the job was advertised at and it's what I'm paid for. But every week without fail someone will comment on me leaving early.

Tinks42 Tue 25-Feb-14 18:57:02

I work part-time and would never go back to full-time, I'm 51 and have worked since I was 16, the way I see it, I've done enough, paid enough taxes and am going to enjoy the rest of my life before I can't, so there (sticks two fingers up to government) wink

shebird Tue 25-Feb-14 19:00:41

I probably achieve more in half a day than some of those working full time. I have to be super organised and I am constantly clock watching as I have to be finished in time for school pick up. I rarely take a break and probably spend less time on office chit chat and google than others. And no I am not heading home to put my feet up and watch cash in the attic angry

AdventColander Tue 25-Feb-14 19:03:32

Yep been part time for 9 years now, I reckon I'm more productive than a full time person because I don't get a paid lunch break.

SwimmingMom Tue 25-Feb-14 19:03:52

I work full time but mostly from home. I still get the 'fun comments'. hmm

If I show up for any school runs or school events - it gets worse! I just say I've taken the day off rather than explain the previous late night I've pulled. grin

OpalQuartz Tue 25-Feb-14 19:14:40

You can't win unfortunately. If you worked full time or became a Sahm you would still be criticised by some.

PortofinoRevisited Tue 25-Feb-14 19:20:40

Hmm - I am in Belgium and still have not taken my parental leave yet - have 3 months to take before dd is 12. I can't take a month block in the summer due to other peoples holidays. And if I went 4/5ths (very common) for a year or so - I would still end up with the same work, but less pay. 2.5/5ths would probably have a really negative effect. Can't win sometimes. Pisses me right off. I would develop some really good put downs OP.

LittleBipper Tue 25-Feb-14 19:22:03

I work part-time post baby - not my choice, I was made redundant on my first day back! I promptly got taken back on freelance for proportionately more money :D luckily it's no one's business whether I'm busy with another client or with my DS if I can't get to their stuff straight away!

My DH is also self employed, he works somewhere where there are several related businesses and it drives them loopy that he shows up and does a focused few days instead of being there 10 hours a day 6 days a week (but mostly on Facebook...) He does work more than full time but he works from the bed or bath when he feels like it! And some charmers have told him to man up because he looks after DS every Tuesday and does about a third of night wakings!

If anyone is reckless enough to comment on my 3pm departure I am quick to point out they are free to join me, with the appropriate salary reduction.
Then I swan out with a huge smirk to doubly piss them off

AllMimsyWereTheBorogroves Tue 25-Feb-14 19:26:56

Jean Seberg, if an employer has agreed that an employee can do part-time hours they have a responsibility for ensuring that clients are aware of this and have an alternative contact. I work part-time and my voicemail message and email signature have clear statements about my working hours and who to contact at other times.

Marylou2 Tue 25-Feb-14 19:33:54

When I worked 4 days a week I had a male colleague who genuinely didn't realise that I only got paid for 4 days. He thought I got a day off because I had kids. His attitude changed hugely when I explained. I wonder if there are others out there who are equally as uninformed?

MrsGarlic Tue 25-Feb-14 19:36:02

No YANBU. It's all relative isn't it. My BIL works 70-hour or more weeks, most weeks. To him I'm sure 35-40 hours would feel part-time! Some people who work PT have huge, huge caring responsibilities and possibly feel they are 'working' or 'on call' all the time, 24/7. Some people work PT because they want to and can afford to and I say good luck to them!

I work part-time (post baby) and luckily haven't had any negative comments about it yet, in fact when I've emailed people on my days off I've had replies to say "don't worry about emailing me, I know you don't work today!".

JeanSeberg Tue 25-Feb-14 19:37:23

AllMimsy Hopefully. I mentioned it because the OP said her customers were commenting that they weren't able to get hold of her before a certain time.

CMP69 Tue 25-Feb-14 19:39:46

I hate "Oh you ONLY work paet time don't you" like I don't matter angry
However I do love leaving at 2 to pick up my gorgeous ds from school and appreciate I am very fortunate to be able to afford to do so - fuck 'em grin

JeanSeberg Tue 25-Feb-14 19:45:38

That's the spirit!

Sadly we live in a society where your worth is measured by your job. Usually one of the first things most people ask someone they've not met before 'What do you do?'

shebird Tue 25-Feb-14 19:50:09

My voicemail and email both detail when I am in the office and alternative people to contact when I am not in so there is no need for clients to feel abandoned when I am not at work. There are some people who are never happy even if you are there 24/7 and a put down about being part time is probably just jealousy anyhow smile

BelleateSebastian Tue 25-Feb-14 19:50:09

I have worked part time since having the dcs, I would say I work harder and more productively than I ever did full time, all of the jobs I have done pt had previously had someone in a ft role in them previously.

JeanSeberg Tue 25-Feb-14 19:53:50

I definitely agree on the productivity. Always get more done when I know I have to leave by x time and who the hell can be effective for 10/12 hours every day?

Most people I deal with are fine about me working PT. I try to make it clear from the outset so that they can plan around it and will rearrange my hours to meet work requirements very occasionally. I did have a comment "it must be nice leaving at 3 everyday" in a rather aggressive tone of voice. My response was "maybe you could try it if you'd like to take a 30% pay cut".

I know that I am lucky to be in a position to work PT, but it does mean that I am paid on a pro rata basis and this can be forgotten.

BusinessUnusual Tue 25-Feb-14 19:59:01

Look sympathetic and ask if they appealed when work turned down their flexible working request.


PansOnFire Tue 25-Feb-14 20:02:06

This is an issue I'm currently dealing with, I can't afford to work part time hours so I work 4 days out of 5 as a compromise. I'm constantly being referred to as the 'part time one' like it's something to be ashamed of. I've also experienced colleagues who now treat me like I'm never there and don't get me started on the amount of information that isn't passed on to me because I was 'off'. I'm really offended by it all!

Basically, working anything less than full time hours is seen as a piss take, despite the fact that no one has to justify how many hours they work or the reasons for it. I'm developing my smug responses and my thick skin, all whilst trying to squeeze 5 days work into 4 days and with the salary to match. It's not easy but I'm more productive because of it. Keep working on the responses OP and know that you're not the only one, I know that's not much help but feeling like others get the same shit might make you feel better smile. I'm truly amazed by the bad attitudes that people have, I've never given anyone else's working hours a second thought, I never thought for a second anyone would notice that I wasn't there one day a week.

shebird Tue 25-Feb-14 20:04:27

Mostly people are ok about it and those that aren't are usually male or don't have children.

Dubjackeen Tue 25-Feb-14 20:04:54

Would love it but it's impossible to get where I am working. To hell with people commenting, it's none of their business. I would use the line about swopping pay packets, and also make sure to look really happy swaggering out the door.

DoJo Tue 25-Feb-14 20:06:41

I work from home, self emplyed and part-ish time (depending on my workload) - anyone who asks is told 'I barely have a job at all - it's brilliant!' and if they are foolish enough to comment further then I offer them a job with me. Still work alone so far... sad grin

Breadrollsbuns Tue 25-Feb-14 20:13:08

I get annoyed with 'enjoy your day off' comments. I make a point of correcting this to 'non-working day' each time a colleague says it to me, and pointing out that non-working days are unpaid. I'm sure they find this constant correction deeply irritating, but I feel the need to keep plugging away to change people's perceptions.

I actually do emails and calls on my non-working days, but I'm constantly fighting for this to be seen as me going above and beyond, rather than a given.

I work 9.30 to 2.30 five days a week. When I leave people say 'see you skiver'!

I just respond yes and I get paid part time wages! angry

Callani Tue 25-Feb-14 20:18:12

I don't get why people bother to work part time - I work full time and my colleague who works part time does almost the exact same amount of work as the rest of us but in 3 week days.

She frequently stays past her contracted hours to complete all her work so she's probably doing far more hours than she's getting paid for (we all are in fairness, but at least we're getting paid full wages). It just seems to be such a rough deal.

NachoAddict Tue 25-Feb-14 20:18:25

I love working part time, best work/home life balance I have ever had. Drop the kids at breakfast club at 8, start work at 8.15 then leave at 2.45 to collect them from school at 3. I take a twenty min lunch so do a 30 hour week and still get to be around most of the time that my children are. Cant imagine doing anything else now!

I think that saying "enjoy your day off" is pretty much the same as "have a nice weekend". It certainly wouldn't bother me if someone said it to me.

TheGreatHunt Tue 25-Feb-14 20:22:10

I've taken to calling my "day off" my non-working day because of this.

I also don't detail when I am and aren't available because, to some, that is a red rag and reminder I'm part time. I just put my out of office on on my days off. I figure, in my line of work, it is no different to not being able to get hold of me if I was in back to back meetings all day which does happen.

JupiterGentlefly Tue 25-Feb-14 20:22:36

'Enjoy your days off' No i got paid for annual leave. They were days I did not work nor salaried for.

DipMeInChocolate Tue 25-Feb-14 20:23:45

I'm too smug about my pt hours to be annoyed about it. I didn't think there was a chance I'd be granted 3 days after working ft for years so I feel so lucky to have these hours. I happily work ft to cover holidays (at time and half) but I'm much happier to return to pt afterwards. My issue is trying to conceal my pleasure of my working hours to not piss off my colleagues too much. It's hard working ft. Not many would choose to if they didn't have to.

LoveBeingCantThinkOfAName Tue 25-Feb-14 20:28:48

Never bother me and I loved walking past them on a Wednesday when I was off for my long weekend

Blueberry234 Tue 25-Feb-14 20:29:57

I struggle with this on a day to day basis as well as now being pregnant and given grief for taking mat leave as they 'only got 12 weeks and their children are fine'

AdventColander Tue 25-Feb-14 20:31:36

The best thing about being part time is being able to say "Have a nice weekend" at 2pm on a Thursday wink

shebird Tue 25-Feb-14 20:38:58

I know I am lucky to work PT but doing a full time job in half the working week is quite stressful and after 8 years of snide comments I think it's just finally got to me.

BusinessUnusual Tue 25-Feb-14 21:36:40

Why are you trying to get a full week's work done in half the week?

Because in most cases, the hours get reduced but the workload does not business [stressed emoticon]

BusinessUnusual Tue 25-Feb-14 22:14:32

I understand that to an extent but if OP is actually trying to do 5 days in 2.5 days then it's completely unsustainable and really uneconomic. I work 4 days per week and probably end up doing an additional half a day per week if busy, per fortnight if less busy.

I do the work of 4 full-timers in 3 days. And yet my colleagues think I am lazy. I am not the only one with children but I am the only one who works part-time with children.

" I don't get why people bother to work part time - I work full time and my colleague who works part time does almost the exact same amount of work as the rest of us but in 3 week days.

She frequently stays past her contracted hours to complete all her work so she's probably doing far more hours than she's getting paid for (we all are in fairness, but at least we're getting paid full wages). It just seems to be such a rough deal."

That doesn't make sense - she works over on pt hours, you all work over on ft hours and yet you get the same amount of work done?
And working over on a full time wage is no easier to bear than working over on a ft wage really

Manchester are you really saying you cram 20 days work into 3? Your colleagues need some performance management

GeoffLeopard Tue 25-Feb-14 22:23:43

I would reiterate much of the comments on here. Though will add that angrily whispering really awful swearwords in the toilets helps me wind down after such comments...

I was allowed to work my PT hours because apparently I seemed like the kind of person who could fit a FT job into my proposed hours. But I genuinely only work my PT hours. I might not muck about on the internet as much as some people and perhaps I work more quickly than some people (though I find that the pace of my work is dictated by the crappy network speed). I would be bored if I worked FT hours with the same amount of work to do.

sittingbythepoolwithenzo Tue 25-Feb-14 22:37:20

I'm another part time worker who gets frequent digs at work.

I've given up caring. I am productive, and my fee income is pretty much up there with the full timers. As my dh says, no one actually works "full time". They work 40 hours, or 37.5 bours. Or, in my case, 20 hours.

kaffkooks Tue 25-Feb-14 22:40:19

I think some people without children sometimes say something without realising. I work with a lovely colleague who is a lot older but has chosen not to have children. She often says "have a good day off tomorrow." It used to really piss me off but I don't think there is any bad feeling in her comment, she's just being polite and she doesn't realise that a day "off" for me is very different to a day off for her.

Permanentlyexhausted Tue 25-Feb-14 22:46:54

I do think you're all being a bit oversensitive.

I also get the "Enjoy your day off" comments and it doesn't really occur to me to be offended by them. It is my day off even though I've earned it by already working my full weekly hours (compressed hours so full time but only 4 actual days).

TempusFuckit Tue 25-Feb-14 22:46:58

Most of my colleagues are fine with my hours, I think. My main issue is my boss playing me off against my job share partner. That's fun.

But still worth it for my two days at home with the kids ... That's what I hold onto most.

BusinessUnusual Tue 25-Feb-14 23:04:19

Permanently, if that's said in exactly the same tone as "enjoy your weekend" or "enjoy your holiday " then that's fair, I think that's not the case for the posters here..

Callani Wed 26-Feb-14 11:50:16

Stealth, my colleague works condensed hours (or something) in 3 week days but is always in by 7 and leaves well past 6, so is more or less doing 35 hours in 3 days rather than the 24 hours she's contracted for.

We tend to get in at 8.30 and leave after 6 so are only doing an extra 6/7 hours extra a week. It's frustrating anyway (although it does mean I miss the rush hour) but I think that as she's doing an extra 45% hours, and we're doing an extra 20% hours it's harder on her.

PoirotsMoustache Wed 26-Feb-14 11:56:30

My response is always 'Yes, but don't forget I get paid part-time wages -let me know if you'd like to swap at any time', said with a smile.

LaGuardia Wed 26-Feb-14 12:31:45

This would only happen in an office environment. If you worked actual shifts in a service industry, people would just be glad to see you and then accept the time has come for you to go home. Office work is extremely over-rated imo.

jammiedonut Wed 26-Feb-14 12:44:47

I work in service industry, have gone back to work full-time (48hrs+) and still get snide comments because I expect to leave at the end of my 13 hr shift and not stay on to 'help out'. You can't win either way to be honest. It's especially irritating when your colleagues do feck all and stay late (to drink and watch others work) but have the cheek to hinT you're not a team player because you want to get home to your children.

Metalgoddess Wed 26-Feb-14 14:21:40

I get comments about part time working too, I do 2 days a week and get asked why I am even bothering to work at all! I just make the point about getting part time wages. I don't mind the "enjoy your days off" comments though if genuine. I don't let it bother me too much, I will do what suits me and my family. I think the negative attitudes must be fuelled by resentment or jealousy. I never work over my hours so it's great for my dcs and childcare. I intend to never work full time again as long as I am in a position to do this.

shebird Wed 26-Feb-14 16:34:51

Apparently working mums suffer twice as much guilt as others - guilt for not doing their job well enough because they have to work to fit in looking after children and also guilt for worrying about work when they should be with their kids. And added to this some snide comments about having an easy life or 'only' working part time no wonder I'm going grey grin

Someone must be covering my guilt for me as I don't fee at all guilty. I do my job as well as I would do any FT job, possibly better and there is no reason to be with my DD as she has a great time at nursery.

hiccupgirl Wed 26-Feb-14 18:52:39

I'm lucky to have a part time job I love. But when I first went pt I felt guilty about saying I couldn't do meetings etc on certain days but not anymore. I have no alternative childcare and can't change the days as the nursery is full so I quickly learnt to just say no I can't do that when asked to move my days around.

I often get colleagues saying 'enjoy your days off' on a Thursday but just ignore them now tbh. It's not a day off, it's my non-paidwork day looking after my child.

TheEmpress Wed 26-Feb-14 19:02:05

I sometimes point out that I get paid part time...

Most of the time I just smile and act smug about my days off. If they think I spend my days in coffee shops, shopping or lunching, then who am I to burst their bubble?

MikeLitoris Wed 26-Feb-14 19:06:30

I just smile and say I'd gladly swap of they want my part time wage 3 dc to look after.

I get it on a daily basis and one member of staff in particular has a madsive chip on her shoulder that I have the option to work pt when she didn't when her dc where young.

MikeLitoris Wed 26-Feb-14 19:07:18

I just smile and say I'd gladly swap of they want my part time wage 3 dc to look after.

I get it on a daily basis and one member of staff in particular has a madsive chip on her shoulder that I have the option to work pt when she didn't when her dc where young.

AlpacaLypse Wed 26-Feb-14 19:09:13

It does seem to make a massive difference if you're only one of several reduced hours workers in a group. I'm so used to everyone with smallish children working part time, that I'm actually quite surprised when I encounter someone doing full time.

Fair enough. If it was proportionately the same it would be no less unfair on her as a part timer than the full timers

JockTamsonsBairns Wed 26-Feb-14 20:47:17

Yes, I used to get this a lot. I changed my working day from 9-5 to 7-3 to fit in with doing school pick ups. I got masses done between 7am and 9am - no colleagues to chat to, phones ringing etc. When I got up to leave at 3 however, I got a daily chorus of "Oh, are you going now?" or "Are you leaving early today?". Um, no, this is my finish time. I think because other people didn't arrive until 9, they didn't get that I'd already done two hours.

When I went on maternity leave for a year my boss made some comment in a team meeting about "Stealth's paid year off" (not as bad as it sounds, it was in context, can't actually remember how). He knew the T&Cs of maternity pay and although it was better than statutory it was no where near full pay! I had a moment of horror when I realised that was exactly what the rest of the team thought - I quickly corrected him!

Agree about the "leaving early"/"day off" comments too - Fridays (say) are as much a "day off" for PT staff as Saturdays and Sundays are for FT staff (in standard office jobs, I know many people work weekends ;))

justmyview Wed 26-Feb-14 22:31:37

If you feel that you're not taken seriously, just try working from home. That's a whole new ball game. No one has any idea if you work flat out long hours, or muck around a bit for sweetie money. They see you at school gates in jeans and make massive assumptions

ah yes but IME colleagues treat you as if you're working - expect you to respond to emails, meet deadlines, pick up the phone (and quite rightly). I'm anti-social so don't see anyone else grin

Dubjackeen Thu 27-Feb-14 00:16:40

I'd just play along, sing dumb. 'Yep, it's great, isn't it'...fake smile.
To hell with what they think. I'd jump at a 4 day week, but not a chance where I am.

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